Accommodation is always a big decision when booking a holiday, and an important one, as it is the place you will unwind after of day of site-seeing and exploring! Both the Grand Excelsior and Phoenicia come highly recommended.
When researching places to stay in Malta, Valletta is seen as one of the best places to stay especially for a shorter break as the main sites are located near here, as well as the port and it is in the walls of the old town.
The two top hotels in Valletta are the Phoenicia and the Grand Excelsior – both come at similar price points and within 3 minute walking distance between each other. Having stayed at both, I wanted to provide a review for you!
Both are in the heart of Valletta! If you are not a fan of hills I would say the Phoenicia is slightly closer to the main town and sights. However the Grand Excelsior is by the bay so you get the waterfront views.
Both check in services were quick and easy. At the Grand Excelsior orange juice was provided. At the Phoenicia after check in they brought you to the lobby lounge to order a complimentary drink of your choice.
Phoenicia room has recently been renovated and has a Mediterranean feel to it. Bed sheets are crisp white, with blue carpet and large windows to let all the light in. It feels very modern and our room has the views of the old walled city and fountain in the square.
The Grand Excelsior has a more regal feel to the hotel and on the more traditional side of taste. The beds were larger but overall the rooms had less natural light. There is a balcony in our room which looks over the harbour which is a great view to start your day.
The Phoenicia has amazing amenities! The shampoo and conditioner is from White Company! They also have a service to call reception for any other missing amenities such as a dental kit for example. One service I thought was unique to Phoenicia, when your room is cleaned they refill your minibar once a day. You can consume everything in the mini bar free of charge. This included: two soft drinks, two beers and two bottles of water.
The Grand Excelsior amenities were at a good standard that you’d expect from a 5 star hotel. The minibar was clever in that you could customise what came in the minibar based on your preferences, however consumption was not free of charge.
Lobby and Facilities
The Phoenicia has a charming and welcoming lobby, you definitely feel like you are in Malta! There is the lobby bar, a restaurant and a club bar. The hotel also hosts a wide range of events for the guests which is great. One night they organised a cocktail evening, whilst on another there was a talk by a local historian. I did however feel it lacks in facilities such as no pool or gym.
The Grand Excelsior is a winner when it comes to the range of facilities. There is a pool on the waterfront (albeit too cold to use in winter)! There is also a gym and a multitude of bars and restaurants. The poolside restaurant offers themed buffet cuisines each night which can be super handy for families rather than finding a place in the old town. The restaurants also have a great view of the harbour.
Both are fantastic and depends on what you are looking for out of your hotel.
If you’ve got a family or large group that requires a range of activities to be catered for, the Grand Excelsior would be the better option.
However if you are looking for a more boutique feel to your hotel, and value the amenities and convenience to the old town I would highly recommend the Phoenicia. My personal preference is the Phoenicia 😊